Medical Gothic Masculinities in Bram Stoker’s "Dracula"

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Ioana Baciu


The present paper makes use of Michel Foucault’s theory from Discipline and Punish according to which one of the means by which women’s bodies are controlled is through their hystericization by the power-knowledge-wielding medical profession. Taking Stoker’s famous novel as a case in point, I mean to show that the men of the novel, embodiments of Reason and Empire, gathered around the guiding medical intelligence of professor Van Helsing, act upon the bodies of the vampirized women (Lucy and Mina) in a way that is the metaphorical expression of the symbolic violence perpretated against women socially. Thus, the novel is gothic in more ways than one: its much-discussed portrayal of sexually-liberated femininity through vampirization finds its counterpart in the less-approached medical masculinity, a reinforcer of masculine domination.

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How to Cite
Baciu, I. “Medical Gothic Masculinities in Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’”. Linguaculture, vol. 12, no. 1, June 2021, pp. 77-86, doi:10.47743/lincu-2021-1-0188.
Author Biography

Ioana Baciu, "Gheorghe Asachi" Technical University of Iasi, Romania

IOANA BACIU holds a PhD in American literature from the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, having previously studied in Romania and the U.K., at the University of Leeds (M.A. in Modern in Contemporary Literature, 2012). Her research interests lie at the intersection of literary, film, and gender studies: the exploration of femininities and masculinities, androgyny, performativity, consumer culture and popular culture, fields she has also previously published in (“Femininity as Performance in Carson McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café, The Member of the Wedding and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter”, in Performing Identity and Gender in Literature, Theatre and the Visual Arts, ed. Panayiota Chrysochou, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017, pp. 38-52.) and is currently working on a contribution for an edited volume on the short fiction of Shirley Jackson.


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